Phil Weber

Heat Rumors: Oladipo, Flynn, Jones, Coaching Staff

Victor Oladipo likes playing for the Pacers and would be happy to stay in Indiana on a big new contract, but if he changes teams, the Heat are expected to be atop his wish list, a source tells Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald.

This is hardly the first time Oladipo has been linked to Miami — a series of summer reports indicated that the Heat would likely be a threat to sign the two-time All-Star away from Indiana in 2021, and there has been ongoing chatter since then. Still, it’ll be interesting to see how Miami’s Finals run this season and Oladipo’s shaky 2019/20 post-injury play impact the Heat’s desire to aggressively pursue the Pacers guard.

For now, Giannis Antetokounmpo remains the Heat’s top target among 2021 free-agents-to-be, according to Jackson, who provides an extensive breakdown of other impact players – including Oladipo – the team could target if Giannis is unavailable.

Here are a few more notes on the Heat:

  • The Heat recently interviewed former San Diego State point guard Malachi Flynn, Jackson writes in another story for The Miami Herald. Flynn, the No. 31 prospect on ESPN’s big board, could be an option for Miami at No. 20. He’s a hard worker who would fit in with the Heat’s culture, according to Jackson, who says one NBA evaluator compared the young guard to Fred VanVleet and believes he’s NBA-ready.
  • The Heat have also scheduled an interview with Duke guard Tre Jones, who is considered a possible first-round pick, Jackson writes for The Herald. Within the story, Jackson says that Kira Lewis and Tyrese Maxey would receive strong consideration from the Heat if they’re still on the board at No. 20.
  • In yet another Herald article, Jackson and Anthony Chiang consider possible replacements on the coaching staff for Dan Craig, who is leaving for a job with the Clippers. Anthony Carter, Eric Glass, and Phil Weber are identified as possibilities by the Herald duo.

Pelicans Hire Chris Finch As Assistant Coach

JUNE 6: The Pelicans have officially hired Finch as an assistant, the team announced today in a press release.

“I’m very excited to welcome Chris to the Pelicans organization,” Gentry said in a statement. “He brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to our coaching staff, and will be an integral part of our program as we move forward.”

According to ESPN’s Marc Stein (via Twitter), New Orleans has also offered a front office role to former assistant coach Phil Weber.

MAY 19: The Pelicans confirmed earlier this week that they won’t replace head coach Alvin Gentry, but it appears some changes are coming to Gentry’s coaching staff. According to ESPN’s Marc Stein, New Orleans is close to hiring Nuggets associate head coach Chris Finch as an assistant.

Sources tell Stein that the Pelicans have gone after Finch in the hopes of adding his “offensive brainpower” to their bench. As Stein observes, Finch was partly responsible for Denver’s offensive improvement centered around big man Nikola Jokic, so the Pelicans are hoping adding the veteran coach will allow the club to take full advantage of Anthony Davis‘ and DeMarcus Cousins‘ talents.

Before he joined the Nuggets in 2016, Finch coached Great Britain at the 2012 Olympics in London and worked for the Rockets organization for the better part of a decade. He was hired as the head coach of Houston’s D-League team, the Rio Grande Valley Vipers, in 2009, and then joined the Rockets as an assistant in 2011.

Finch was promoted to associate head coach by the Rockets in 2014, and retained that title when he was hired by the Nuggets last year. I would guess he’ll have a similar role in New Orleans if and when he and the Pelicans finalize his new deal.

Western Notes: Lyles, Cole, Suns

Trey Lyles has yet to sign his rookie contract with the Jazz and Jody Genessy of the Deseret News (on Twitter) hears that he expected to hit some road bumps on that front after being drafted No. 12 overall.  Lyles is still on target to get 120% of the rookie scale, but Genessy (Twitter links) believes that the minor details/complications to be hammered out are probably bonus-related.  GM Dennis Lindsey previously indicated that there some details would have to be ironed out in relation to cap holds.

  • Guard Norris Cole is the top remaining free agent the Pelicans are making a push to re-sign, sources tell John Reid of The Times-Picayune.  New Orleans can match any offer the restricted free agent receives, but Reid also hears that they’re only willing to go so far.
  • Now that LaMarcus Aldridge has chosen the Spurs over the Suns (and his other suitors), Paul Coro of The Arizona Republic looked at what might be next for Phoenix.  The Suns, he writes, are looking to add shooting, experience, frontline help, and a third point guard in free agency.  Coro surmises that targets could include a free agent power forward like Brandon Bass, Jordan Hill, Darrell Arthur or Andrea Bargnani and even sentimental free agency options, like a return for Amar’e Stoudemire.
  • Nuggets coach Michael Malone has hired well-regarded Ed Pinckney as his top assistant, league sources tell Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports (on Twitter).  Pinckney was previously with the Bulls.
  • Heat D-League head coach Phil Weber is finalizing a deal to join Alvin Gentry‘s staff with the Pelicans, Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports tweets.  The two worked together with the Suns.

Eastern Notes: Knicks, Varejao, Hornets, Heat

The Magic supplemented their coterie of young players with veteran signees like Channing Frye, Ben Gordon and Luke Ridnour this summer, but much more significant moves have to happen for the team to become a contender again, as Brian Schmitz of the Orlando Sentinel argues. The team has failed to land marquee free agent talent in recent years, and it’ll be a challenge to contend without the benefit of a No. 1 overall pick, Schmitz writes. Only the Bulls and Cavs look like true title contenders in the East this year, but with the season looming, we’ll soon find out if there are any surprises in store. Here’s the latest from around the East:

  • Phil Jackson believes that the Knicks should make the playoffs this year, as he declares in an interview with Steve Serby of the New York Post. Jackson also disputed the notion that the Knicks didn’t offer Steve Kerr as much to coach the team as they gave Derek Fisher. The Zen Master added that during negotiations with Carmelo Anthony on his new contract, ‘Melo repeatedly expressed a desire for the team to alleviate some of his scoring burden.
  • People close to Anderson Varejao advised him to buck for a trade the past few years, but he says he never wanted to leave the Cavs and can’t see himself playing for another team, as he tells Chris Haynes of the Northeast Ohio Media Group. Varejao can hit free agency next summer.
  • Hornets signees Justin Cobbs, Dallas Lauderdale and Brian Qvale are all on non-guaranteed contracts for the minimum salary that cover one season, according to Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders (Twitter link).
  • The Heat named Phil Weber the coach of their D-League affiliate, the team announced. Weber, a longtime NBA assistant coach, had been serving as a consultant for Miami.